Gay Day

Monday, June 30th, 2003 | Gay, Performance

This weekend got off to a nice start with the Joe Goode Performance Group at Yerba Buena, the perfect opener for the gay festivities to come. Joe’s performances contain spoken word, dance and theater, whimsically intertwined, drawing from American icons like Agnes DeMille, twisted with a gay sensibility. Sometimes narrative seems to intrude too much, though, and then gets lost in sentiment. The best thing he ever did was a performance I saw years ago at Theatre Artaud called 29 Effeminate Gestures, that brilliantly deconstructed the gay self into a series of highly articulated movements and facial expressions.

Big Chris and I went to the gay parade, and had a great time, one of the more festive parades in recent memory. At a BBQ that I went to afterwards at Peter and Luis’, I had an interesting conversation with this guy named Bradford, who used to have one of the largest Barbie clothing collections but is now collecting and selling vintage couture from the 50’s and 60’s, an interesting character himself. Anyway, we both related the upswing in mood to the visibility and acceptance of gays by mainstream culture and to the recent Supreme Court decision, everyone thrilled and hopeful, in a party mood.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence won my vote for favorite float, based on a USO show, called “U Ass Ho,” featuring lots of big hair, a caged pope, (a play on this year’s theme–“Gotta Give Them Pope,” instead of hope) the Andrew Sisters, and Dick Cheney as Slim Pickens from Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, straddling an enormous “Weapon of Ass Destruction.” Other faves were the Sunset Scavenger dudes and their trash can ballet, more big haired drag queens, the GAPA “sushi boat” float, Armistead (I’ve got to photograph him–he’s too cute) and Laura Linney, a very scary buxom Dorothy screaming “I’ll find my own way back home!!” and of course all the furry bellies.

People were saying that this parade was more political, but it was a political sensibility closer to compassionate conservatism than to the Lesbian Avengers or ACT-UP style political activism.

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